Guarding Access to Online-Platforms in Media Law

Guarding Access to Online-Platforms in Media Law

Mass media communication is always dependanton certain infrastructural elements acting as an intermediary between communicator and recipient. In the field of traditional mass media – such as broadcasting and print media – the German constitutional court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) developed some legal standards to try to limit influence on the distribution of media content at oneparticularlevel. The sub-constitutional legal framework hence provides some legal instruments, e.g. must-carry rules for the distribution of broadcasting via cable network.

Nowadays not only the distribution of traditional media content like print media or broadcasting is relevant to the question as to what influence can be tolerated regarding the constitutional guarantees of article 5 of the German Basic Law. Through the changes in the recipient’s consumption of media content, an increase of the distribution of media content by the use of online communication can be observed. In this digital environment similar questions arise. Online platforms play an important role in this context, as they can have a strong influence on the user´s ability to access content. Content can be banned or offered in a way imlying it is less relevant than other content.

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Project Description

This PhD project analyses the legal standards promulgated by the German Basic Law regarding the distribution of traditional mass media and investigates which of these standards are also valid for online platforms. In a second step, the sub-constitutional law (esp. the German broadcasting act and the German law prohibiting competitive restrictions) will be examined to see whether it meets the constitutional standards.

Project Information


Duration: 2011-2015

Involved persons

Martin Lose

Third party

Cooperation Partner

Contact person

Junior Researcher

Martin Lose



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